The winners of the 2023 Dream Trip were treated to a packed programme in Wolfsburg, filled with everything they could possibly wish for. Last weekend, the Wolves welcomed Sam Hargett (winner of a USA-wide campaign with Jake Barford and ESPN), Casey Bednarczyk (winner of a regional campaign with the Chicago Red Stars and Arielle Chambers) and fiancée Melissa Korniejczuk, and 14-year-old Evelin Juarez Ramirez (who took part in the StrongHER campaign) with guardian Katelyn Newsome. Influencers Jake Barford and Arielle Chambers also made the trip, along with Rachel C. Parrish, who is head of marketing for the Chicago Red Stars.
After touching down in Germany, they spent their first hours in the country at the Volkswagen Drive.studios in Berlin. That evening, a first surprise was in store for them in Wolfsburg with Kevin Paredes spending plenty of time with them as they enjoyed their dinner.
The competition winners were then given a tour of the stadium on Friday, which included a quick peek at the men’s team’s final training session of the week, before checking out the VfL-FußballWelt exhibition.
Since there is much more to Wolfsburg than the history of VfL, the US visitors then went on a factory tour of Volkswagen, which was rounded off with a meet and greet with Lukas and Felix Nmecha. They then got to see the VfL-Center, in the company of team manager Philipp Wegner.
Saturday brought with it the Women’s Bundesliga match against TSG Hoffenheim, with Rachel and Casey helping out with the pre-match build-up in the AOK Stadion, while Evelyn and Katelyn got to be part of the half-time show. The She-Wolves unfortunately went down to a 2-1 defeat, but despite their disappointment with the result, Ewa Pajor and Sveindis Jonsdottir took the time to chat with the overseas visitors in the mixed zone.
There was plenty more Green-and-White action on the agenda for the US-Wolves fans on Sunday. After taking in the women’s training session, the competition winners got to get out onto the pitch themselves alongside Pajor, Jonsdottir, Jule Brand and Dominique Janssen. The players had a number of footballing challenges for the fans including hitting the crossbar from distance and football golf, with Evelyn getting the deciding point for her team.
Then came the Wolves’ home match against Eintracht Frankfurt, which the competition winners got to spend in the corporate area decked out in full get-up after a visit to the Volkswagen Arena’s Fanshop. All of them also got to feature in the half-time show and to round off their trip, Paredes was once again on hand to wish them a fond farewell. The US fans then headed home on the Monday with a suitcase full of souvenirs and a whole host of unforgettable Green-and-White experiences.